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2010 Maxim Food Awards: Sausage Fest

Maxim knows there comes a time when every man must learn to fend for himself. So instead of sending you on the road to fill your belly, this year’s food awards are sending you into the kitchen, with help from the country’s best chefs. Try not to set anything on fire.

When fat, lazy men gather to watch ripped, bloodthirsty men play sports, the former are obligated to attack their food the way the latter attack their opponents. It’s the least we can do.

CHEF: Victor Casanova
Culina, Los Angeles, CA

Victor Casanova is chef de cuisine at Culina in the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, but he was born and raised in the Bronx, right next to Yankee Stadium. So when it comes to his favorite thing to eat while watching a game, Casanova defers to the good ol’ dirty-water dog. “I don’t think too much beats it for me,” he says. A close second? His sausage and peppers, which he serves to his own friends with tall glasses of Guinness on Sundays in the fall. “It’s an all-day feast: People come over around one and stay till eight or nine o’clock.” The success of the dish, Casanova says, is in its ease: “It’s just a simple southern Italian recipe that’s about good, soulful flavor.”

This one-pot dish of sausage, peppers, and spicy tomato ragu would make even the Situation jealous.
From Chef Victor Casanova

Serves: six to eight


2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground peperoncino
10–12 mild Italian sausages (sweet or hot, your call)
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips
14 oz. can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes (crushed by hand)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground

1. In a large skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add peperoncino to the pan and swirl, then immediately add sausage and onions.

2. Cook the sausage with the onions for 5 to 7 minutes looking to caramelize well. Add the garlic, peppers, tomatoes, wine, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper.

3. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 to 35 minutes. Uncover and let cool. Reheat and serve with rustic Italian bread.